This year, India is going to produce around 107 million tonnes of rice which is a plus point for the country, Vijay Paul Sharma, chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) said on Monday. “In order to address pressing issues in the rice value chain we have to strengthen the four pillars – technology, institutional support, infrastructure and incentives. All the four pillars are important and there should be synergy amongst them,” he said at a CII meet on rice in Pune. He pointed out that private sector in collaboration with the government and research institutions can play an important role in bridging the yield gaps. Agriculture extension plays a key role in the dissemination of technology from laboratory to farm, he said.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) along with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) had organised a technology, strategy and policy conference on Rice: Emerging Trends & Future Prospects in Pune.
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Shyam Khadka, FAO Representative in India, highlighted the adverse impact of the climate change on rice production and diversified rice yields in the country and said that technology has to be customised and not standardised for all problems.
According to V Shankar, conference chairman and MD and CEO, Rallis Indian Limited, although an all-time high production of 106.65 million tonnes of rice with a productivity of 2.39 tonnes per hectare was achieved during the year 2013-14, India needs to produce 120 million tonnes by 2030 to feed its one and a half billion plus population by then using less land, less water, less manpower and optimising all agri input usages.
Rice is the most important food crop of the developing world and also the staple food for more than 60% of the Indian populace, he said, adding that besides adopting cutting edge science and technology for increasing rice productivity, in India, for the sustainable rice cultivation, procurement and marketing, policy makers and stakeholders have to address issues related to quality seeds, crop protection, sustainable use of quality agri inputs, cost of production, price, procurement, regulatory aspects, fragmented land, forward and backward linkages, infrastructure, logistics, market and import-export policy related to rice.